5 Ways to Use Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Skylar Griggs, Thanksgiving picture

Co-written by: Christina Chu, CPT, a Boston University Dietetics Student.

For some, the days after Thanksgiving is almost better than the day of. Turkey, stuffing, Brussel sprouts, and sweet potatoes integrate into meals long after Thursday. While chowing down on leftovers can be dull, here are some recipes to spruce up your leftovers:

  • Thanksgiving Pizza

    Preheat your oven to 500°F. Roll out whole wheat pizza dough. Use the cranberry sauce as the base and top with leftover pulled turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the crust is golden.

    Benefits: Fiber in the whole wheat dough, manganese and vitamin C in the cranberry sauce.

  • Turkey and Cranberry Fried Rice

    In a heated pan, stir together cooked brown rice, leftover turkey, Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and the remaining leftover vegetables you have. Use leftover gravy as your sauce, and add about 3-4 eggs, stir until cooked. Serve with a side of cranberry sauce.

    Benefits: Vitamin C and K in the Brussel sprouts, vitamin A and C in the sweet potatoes, vitamin B12 in the eggs.

  • Holiday jam

  • Pilgrim’s Breakfast Sandwich

    Between two pieces of whole-wheat toast, waffle, or English muffin, spread leftover cranberry sauce, and layer with mashed potatoes, pulled turkey, and a cooked egg.

    Benefits: Iron and lean protein in the turkey, fiber in the whole-wheat grains.

  • Stuffing Muffins

    Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large mixing bowl, incorporate your leftover stuffing with eggs (roughly one egg per one cup of stuffing). Scoop this mixture into a greased/non-stick muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are browned. Serve with a side of cranberry sauce or gravy.

    Benefits: Manganese and vitamin C in the cranberry sauce.

  • Turkey Stock

    Don’t let the bones go to waste! After pulling (almost) all the meat off the bones, Add to a crockpot with onions, carrots, celery, peppercorn, parsley, rosemary, and garlic. Add enough water to above three inches of everything submerged. Cook on low for about 24 hours (if you are doing this in a regular pot, bring to low boil and simmer for at least two hours) and strain. Season with salt and pepper to taste, let cool, and use for soups (1 week in the fridge refrigerated or frozen for 6 months).

    Benefits: Calcium and collagen in the turkey bones, vitamin K and C in the parsley, vitamin A and C in the carrots.

Sky’s Scoop:

  • Saving even the turkey bones can be useful for making a healthy meal. Specifically, components like collagen benefit your hair, skin, and bones.
  • Don’t just settle for regular Thanksgiving leftovers; use them in one of the recipes above!

Autumn cornucopia